The Good and Bad of reBar Closing


In the seven and a half years, since reBar opened in December 2006 (above the former sister coffee bar called Retreat), reBar has been a neighborhood restaurant, bar, event space, and theatre (reRun theatre). Jason Stevens, the founder envisioned a space for the community by the community. He even raised capital for the space from neighbors. So the abrupt news that reBar was closed and bankrupt came as a surprise to residents and Dumbo office workers. But the reBar staff didn’t know either until Friday morning when they reported to work. In a bizarre twist, Gothamist received info that the reBar founder has disappeared and apparently owes the IRS about $3 million in taxes.

“He hadn’t paid his sales taxes for five years,” said Jeremy Leech, former head chef of reBar who worked there from September 2009 to September 2013. Leech, who now runs a food truck in Bangkok, Thailand, told us he was “floored and…in complete shock” to learn what happened to his former employer and friend, calling him “the best boss I ever worked for” and someone who “cultivated creativity.” Leech described Stevens, whom Gothamist had spoken to in the past, as “the most generous guy I’ve ever seen,” adding, “people would need rent, he’d give employees money out of pocket.”

Meanwhile, the former employees of reBar and local businesses have banded together to help couples who had planned their weddings at reBar by offering to do what they can. The staff at reBar did not get paid on payday, but they have made every effort to help those couples. There’s an Indiegogo campaign set up to help the cancelled reBar weddings. Below is a list from Gothamist of the venues and vendors who have reached out to offer help.

Dumbo residents set up a campaign to help recover the lost wages of the hard working staff at Rebar. As the staff of reBar helped the community over the years, let’s give back where you can.



  • Kerry Quade- Florist (, , 646-996-4238
  • Michelle Edgemont- Florist (,
  • Lucy Music – Musicians/Bands (,
  • DJ Ben Carlin aka. Ben The Beyonder (DJ Coordinator of reBar),, 718-885-7795
  • Brooklyn Historical Society. Special Events Coordinator Daisy Lee, 718-222-4111 or

If any other local businesses want to reach out to couples, you can try emailing Tyler and Katherine at and

{reBar shuts down after owner ‘took the money and ran’, NY Post}
{DUMBO Wedding Venue Suddenly Closes, CBS}
{Brooklyn restaurant owner, volunteers host wedding for couple stranded by reBar closing, PIX11}
{Abrupt closing of ReBar shocks DUMBO, BK Eagle}
{Brooklyn Wedding Venue Chained, Locked, Leaving Couples Scrambling, NBC}

4 Comment

  • This might sound marginal, but does anyone know what was up with Jason’s nose?

    Assuming diabetes. But it’s strange that it never gets brought up.

  • NST Pictures is offering 50% off any plus collection cinematography package for reBar couples. We believe that everyone should be able to have a video to remember and relive their special day! For more information or to book a consultation, visit or contact Jennifer at 855-642-6531 or
    We still have some availability for May and June, as well as the rest of the year!

  • Please help my friends host the wedding they deserve after this mess! Every dollar counts! Let’s pay it forward, it could happen to any of us! Thank you!